An Iranian woman holds an anti-US sign during a demonstration following the weekly Muslim Friday prayer in the capital Tehran on September 28, 2018. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A senior Iranian religious figure warned that US bases in the region will not be secure if America “fails.”
“If the United States fails, its bases around Iran will no longer be safe,” the leader of Friday prayers in Tehran, Mohammad-Ali Movahedi-Kermani, said in his sermon, Mizan news reported.
There are reports that three rockets were fired at the US consulate in Basra, southern Iraq on Friday. The consulate is located near the city’s airport.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said they will hold Iran responsible for any attacks on American interests by their proxies like the Hashd al-Shaabi in Iraq after a similar incident occurred last month.
The Iranian religious leader also praised the strong and disciplined stance the country’s politicians have taken at the UN General Assembly in the face of “aggressive” attacks by the United States and Israel.
“The strong, humane rationale of the Iranian representatives… ran counter to the absurd, bullying, abnormal, illegal, aggressive rationale of US President Donald Trump as the boss of the arrogant powers,” said Movahedi-Kermani, IRNA reported.
Trump used his address to the General Assembly to urge isolation
of Iran, saying “We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons.”
Speaking to the same chamber a few hours later, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for dialogue, without threats or bullying.
Iran is complying with the nuclear deal (the JCPOA) it signed with the members of the UN Security Council plus Germany in 2015, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that is monitoring activities in the country.
Trump, however, withdrew from the deal in May, calling it the worst ever. His administration has said they want to see a deal that also addresses Iran’s ballistic missile programme and its regional activities, like role in conflicts in Syria and Yemen and support for groups like Lebanese Hezbollah.
Taking a dig at Trump and the US, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, speaking at a forum on Ancient Civilizations in New York on Thursday, said that new countries with short histories assume they can survive only through “having enemies and demonizing other countries,” IRNA reported.
Ancient civilizations should take on the role of establishing global peace and security, he said.
Israel also slammed into Iran on the world stage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed
to the General Assembly on Thursday information of an alleged “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran.
US officials, however, said the information Netanyahu announced was nothing new.
His comments were “somewhat misleading. First, we have known about this facility for some time, and it’s full of file cabinets and paper, not aluminum tubes for centrifuges, and second, as far as anyone knows, there is nothing it in that would allow Iran to break out of the JCPOA any faster than it otherwise could,” a US intelligence official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Iran has shrugged off Netanyahu’s claims. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi said the world will just laugh at “such lies.”